In vitro toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Scientists investigate in vitro toxicity of extracts from bioplastics and plant-based food contact articles; find strongest toxicity induced by cellulose- and starch-based products; emphasize similar toxicity profiles among bio-based, biodegradable, and conventional plastics

EEA briefing on biodegradable and compostable plastics

European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes report providing on overview of challenges and opportunities; includes introduction to relevant terminology, implications of use, and comparison of existing certifications; calls for clearer labeling and increased campaigns to inform consumers

Review of technologies for PHA production

Scientists review three main routes for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production, including microbiological, enzymatic, chemical; microbiological and chemical routes most favorable for scaling-up; remaining high costs compared to fossil-based plastics necessitate search for cheaper feedstocks, optimization of production efficiencies

Inorganic elements in PHA bioplastics

Scientists measure content and migration of inorganic elements from polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA); report higher levels in PHA produced from municipal waste and wastewater sludge fractions compared to PHA produced from fruit wastes; in all cases migration below set migration limits

Study investigates pace of bioplastic innovation

Clarivate report finds bioplastics still in early developmental stage, volume of filed patents increasing at same rate as other sectors; research focus being placed on improving mechanical properties to compete with petrochemical-based plastics

Interactive webinar on bio-based recyclable packaging

REFUCOAT project to hold two-day online event to present and discuss results and learnings; research aims to develop active coatings in films and trays as alternatives to non-renewable packaging materials; registration free and open

EASAC report on plastic packaging and circular economy

European Academies’ Science Advisory Council provides seven recommendations to EU policymakers for transitioning to circular economy; include banning plastic waste exports, extending producer responsibility, ‘end misleading about bio-based alternatives’, limiting additives and resins

Challenges of biobased plastics for food packaging

Law firm Keller and Heckman LLP publish overview article introducing biobased plastics, discuss definitions, developments, recycling challenges, and applicable legislation

European Bioplastics comments on Green Deal

Industry association wants stronger links to bioeconomy within European Green Deal, outlines seven recommendations to enhance circular economy action plan

Survey quantifies consumer perceptions by packaging types

2019 EcoFocus Trends Survey finds consumers perceive glass and paper-based packaging as most healthy and eco-friendly, 64% of millennials willing to pay for eco-friendly products